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S.F. No. 3141 - Environment and Natural Resources Appropriations and Policy (Second Engrossment)
Author: Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen
Prepared By: Ben Stanley, Senate Counsel (651/296-4793)
Date: March 27, 2018


Article 1 – Environment and Natural Resources Appropriations

[See separate spreadsheet]

Article 2 – Environment and Natural Resources Policy

Section 1 [Investment of Permit to Mine Financial Insurance Money] authorizes the State Board of Investment to invest permit to mine financial assurance money when requested to do so by the commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Section 2 [Aquaculture Permits] provides that Pollution Control Agency (PCA) permits for saltwater aquatic farms must be classified as permits for agricultural operations.

Sections 3 to 5 [Aquaculture Definitions] define "saltwater aquaculture," "saltwater aquatic farm," and "saltwater aquatic life" for the purposes of regulation by DNR and the PCA.

Section 6 [Transportation and Importation of Saltwater Aquatic Life] provides for transportation and importation of saltwater aquatic life into Minnesota that is in lieu of the general transportation and importation of aquatic life under the aquaculture statutes, since saltwater aquatic life will be unable to live in waters of the state.

Section 7 [Road Vacation Proceedings] expands the type of legal actions that the department of natural resources can handle internally to include road vacations.

Section 8 [Engandered Species Exemption Clarification] clarifies that the exemption to the prohibition on taking endangered plant species on roadways extends to the full public right-of-way.

Section 9 [Snowmobile Safety Instructor Fee Recovery] authorizes snowmobile safety instructors to recover fees paid for online training courses on behalf of trainees.

Section 10 [Online ATV Training Program for Youth] requires DNR to establish a voluntary all-terrain vehicle online training program for youth aged six to ten and a parent or guardian.

Section 11 [ATV Safety Certificate Eligibility Clarification] clarifies that only youth aged ten or older may receive an ATV safety education and training certificate.

Section 12 [Harvesting of Gizzard Shad in Minnesota River] adds the Minnesota River downstream of Granite Falls to the list of waters from which gizzard shad may be harvested by cast net for noncommercial personal use as bait for angling under a permit. Repeals a related statutory sunset.

Section 13 [Use of Commercial Fishing Equipment in Infested Waters] expands the types of infested waters in which commercial fishing equipment must be tagged. Allows removal of tags by DNR only if equipment has been decontaminated in accordance with DNR protocol.

Sections 14 & 15 [Zebra Mussel Pilot Studies Changes] repeal statutory language that limits to certain access sites two pilot studies related to the reintroduction of equipment with zebra mussels attached into Gull Lake and Cross Lake.

Section 16 [Cayuna Country State Recreation Area Citizens Advisory Council Changes] amends the statute that creates the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area Citizens Advisory Council to correct the names of member organizations and to add legislative representation.

Section 17 [Definition of Carbon Monoxide Detection System] amends the definition of carbon monoxide detection system in the water safety and watercraft statutes to provide greater flexibility.

Section 18 [Location of Carbon Monoxide Detection Systems] enacts requirements related to the placement of carbon monoxide detection systems in motorboats.

Section 19 [Wildland Firefighters] corrects the inadvertent application of certain statutory requirements related to firefighter training and education requirements to wildland firefighters.

Section 20 [Misdemeanor Wildfire Act Violations] expands the type of legal actions that the department of natural resources can handle internally to include misdemeanor violations of the wildfire act.

Section 21 [Security for Lease of State Forest Land] authorizes DNR to require a security deposit or other form of security to ensure that improvements and personal property are not left on state forest land when a lease of that expires. Current law already allows the DNR to require a performance bond for this purpose.

Section 22 [Unlawful Firewood Possession] eliminates an enforcement provision related to dealers of unapproved firewood that DNR does not use.

Section 23 [Security for Lease of Unsold Land] authorizes DNR to require a performance bond, security deposit, or other form of security to ensure that improvements and personal property are not left on unsold state lands when a lease of that land expires.

Section 24 [Online Sales of Surplus State-Owned Land] authorizes DNR to conduct sales of surplus state-owned land through online auction.

Section 25 [Production of Fish and Game Laws Summary] repeals requirement that DNR produce enough copies of its summary of the hunting and fishing laws and rules for each person that obtains a hunting, fishing, or trapping license.

Section 26 [Use of Deer License Proceeds] requires $16 of each deer license to be credited to the deer management account.

Section 27 [Voter Registration Information] requires DNR to include voter registration information on the website that allows residents to purchase hunting and fishing licenses. The website must also include a link to the secretary of state’s online voter registration website. DNR must also include voter registration information in the printed and digital versions of its annual game and fish regulations summary.

Section 28 [Sale of Certain Separate Selection Elk Licenses] authorizes recipients of an elk license under the separate selection for owners of, or tenants on, at least 160 acres of agricultural or grazing land to sell those licenses for no more than it cost the recipient.

Section 29 [Consideration of Unsuccessful Elk License Applicants] requires elk license applicants who fail to obtain an elk license through the mandatory separate selection for repeat unsuccessful applicants to be included in the selection for the remaining available licenses.

Sections 30 & 31 [Hunting by Persons with Physical Disabilities] facilitates a person with a permanent physical disability obtaining a firearms hunting license authorizing the person to hunt when assisted by a parent, guardian, or other adult person.

Section 32 [Gizzard Shad Cast Net Requirements] increases the permissible size of nets used to harvest Gizzard Shad to those having a radius of five feet from those having a diameter of seven feet. Provides that no more than two nets may be used at one time.

Section 33 [Local Water Resources Protection and Management Program – Local Government Eligibility] expands eligibility for assistance under the local water resources restoration, protection, and management program to include all local governments as opposed to just counties.

Section 34 [Local Water Resources Protection and Management Program – Eligibility Criteria] provides the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) with greater flexibility to determine eligibility criteria for the Local Water Resources Restoration, Protection, and Management Program.

Section 35 [Red River Basin Commission] establishes the Red River Basin Commission in statute.

Section 36 [One Watershed, One Plan Clarification] clarifies that plans developed as part of the one watershed, one plan program sometimes also serve purposes under the Clean Water Legacy Act (Chapter 114D).

Section 37 [Amendment of One Watershed, One Plan Transition Plan] current statutes require the Board of Soil and Water Resources to develop a plan for transitioning the state to comprehensive planning based on one watershed, one plan. This section provides that BWSR may not amend the plan more frequently than once every two years.

Sections 38 to 44 [Mississippi Headwaters Board Authority] clarifies that all zoning authorities are subject to the Mississippi Headwaters Board certification requirement with respect to certain land use actions undertaken in the area covered by the board’s comprehensive land use plan.

Section 45 [Soil Loss Statutes Applicability] makes certain soil erosion provisions inapplicable unless a county or other local government unit affirmatively adopts them via an ordinance.

Section 46 [Wetland Replacement Priority Order Exception] provides that the statutory wetland replacement priority order does not apply to project-specific replacement sites intended to bank credits for single-user banks before January 1, 2009.

Section 47 [Wetland Banking Credits as Offset of Adverse Effect on Rare Natural Communities] provides that wetland banking credits are an acceptable mitigation measure for adverse effects on rare natural communities and authorizes DNR to approve wetland replacement plans that include restoration or credits from rare natural communities of substantially comparable character and public value as mitigation for any rare natural community adversely affected by a project.

Section 48 [Wetland Banking Fees] requires wetland banking fees to be based on the actual cost to BWSR of implementing the activities for which fees are charged.

Section 49 to 55 [Clean Water Legacy Act Definitions] adds definitions related to local water planning to the Clean Water Legacy Act (chapter 114D) and makes changes to other definitions in that Act, which will facilitate the use of local plans for Clear Water Legacy Act purposes.

Section 56 [WRAPS & TMDLs Priorities] provides that the commissioner of the Pollution Control Agency (PCA), in consultation with the Clean Water Council, must coordinate with the commissioners of natural resources, health, and agriculture, and with BWSR, to establish priorities for scheduling and preparing WRAPs and TMDLs.

Section 57 [Clean Water Council Recommendations] removes the requirement that the Clean Water Council’s recommendations be designed to improve the quality of surface waters that are listed as impaired but do not have a TMDL.  

Section 58 [Use of Local Plans for Clean Water Legacy Act Purposes] authorizes the commissioner of the PCA to submit certain local plans to the EPA as part of the TMDL approval process as opposed to developing a new TMDL proposal.

Section 59 [Local Plan Activities May Contribute to MS4 Permit Requirements] authorizes water quality measures taken under a local water plan to be considered as contributing to the requirements of a storm water pollution prevention plan for municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permit purposes.

Section 60 to 62 [Various Clean Water Legacy Act Refinements] makes various refinements to the statute that addresses the contents of WRAPS and to other sections of the Clean Water Legacy Act.

Section 63 [NPDES Exemption; Water Transfers] establishes an exemption from the Pollution Control Agency’s (PCA) National Pollutant Discharge and Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirement for water transfers that do not introduce pollutants to the waters transferred. This exemption mirrors a similar federal exemption.

Section 64 [Remote Sugar Beet Storage Facilities] Prohibits PCA from including in NPDES/SDS permits a requirement to install sedimentation pond liners in remote sugar beet storage facilities.

Section 65 [External Peer Review of Water Quality Standards] directs the PCA to have peer review conducted on all new and revised numeric water quality standards.  This section also provides for the process of conducting the peer review and the development of technical support documents for the water quality standards.

Section 66 [Effluent Limitation Compliance] provides that to the extent allowed by federal law, a municipal or industrial NPDES or state disposal system permit holder that constructs a treatment work facility to comply with modified standards, may not be required to expend additional capital investment on the treatment works for 16 years.

Section 67 [Local Government Solid Waste Project Assistance] amends the application requirements for local government assistance with solid waste projects to require that capacity at existing facilities and the potential displacement of existing facilities be examined prior to application.

Section 68 [Conforming Change] updates statutory cross references to reflect substantive changes made elsewhere in the bill.

Section 69 [Changes to Statutory References Related to Solid Waste] changes various statutory references from “organized collection” to “solid waste collection,” authorizing unorganized collection to be considered. The bill makes similar conforming in other sections. 

Section 70 [Solid Waste Collection Options Committee Procedure] provides that when a local government convenes a committee to examine solid waste collection options, the committee must include in its analysis an examination of the existing system of collection. This section also allows the committee’s evaluation to include an examination of potential collection methods’ impact on residential subscribers’ ability to have choices with respect to desired level of service and costs.

Section 71 [Conforming Change] makes a minor conforming change.

Section 72 [Negotiations with Licensed Solid Waste Collectors] changes the period during which local governments are required to negotiate with licensed collectors to “at least 60 days” from the current “60 days.” This section also changes the length of the resulting initial collection agreement to “seven” years from the current “three to seven years.”

Section 73 [Solid Waste Pre-Negotiation Conference] requires that prior to the negotiations a local government is required to conduct exclusively with licensed collectors, the collectors and elected officials of the local government must meet and confer on waste collection issues.

Section 74 [Joint Liability of Waste Collectors] prohibits an organized collection agreement from requiring a participating licensed collector to bear any liability for damages caused by any other participating licensed collector.

Section 75 [Conforming Change] makes a minor conforming change.

Section 76 [Establishment of Account for 3M Settlement Proceeds] establishes a water quality and sustainability account in the remediation fund for proceeds of the recent 3M settlement, appropriates those funds for settlement purposes, and imposes related reporting requirements.

Section 77 [3M Settlement Funding Recommendations] requires the commissioners of PCA and DNR to work with stakeholders to identify and recommend projects to receive funding from 3M settlement proceeds.

Section 78 [Align State Air Quality Standards with Federal Standards] aligns state air quality law with its federal counterpart.

Section 79 [Fugitive Emissions from Temporary Storage Facilities] exempts temporary storage facilities located at commodity facilities from otherwise applicable fugitive emissions standards.

Section 80 [Exemption from Open Air Swine Basin Moratorium] exempts from the otherwise applicable ban on new open-air swine basins those that are used solely for wastewater from truck-washing facilities.

Section 81 [Conforming Change] makes a minor conforming change.

Section 82 [Water Quality and Sustainability Account] amends the remediation fund statute to reflect the creation of the new water quality and sustainability account.

Section 83 [Small Business Environmental Improvement Loan Program – Eligibility] expands eligibility for loans under the PCA-administered Small Business Environmental Improvement Loan Program.

Section 84 [Small Business Environmental Improvement Loan Program – Loan Conditions] modernizes loan conditions by lowering permissible interest rates and increasing maximum loan amount.

Section 85 [Pipeline Definition] limits the definition of pipeline to those that are owned or operated by a condemning authority.

Section 86 [Conforming change] makes a minor conforming change.

Section 87 [Lottery Retailer Commission] sets new minimum rates for commissions paid to lottery retailers. For games in which the winner is determined without a drawing, the retailer commission will be increased to 6% from the current 5.5%. Additionally, the retailer commission for winning tickets will be increased to 1.5% from the current 1%.

Section 88 [Discontinuance of Ramsey Soil & Water Conservation District] discontinues the Ramsey Soil and Water Conservation District and transfers its duties to the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners.

Section 89 [Metro Local Recycling Development Program Match] expands the type of entities that can provide the local match for a metro local recycling development program grant.

Section 90 [Buffer Changes] extends by one year, to July 1, 2019, the conditional compliance waiver for public water riparian protection requirements for those who filed a compliance plan by November 1, 2017. Provides that filing a compliance plan for public drainage system riparian protection by November 1, 2018, will likewise confer a conditional compliance waiver until July 1, 2019.

Section 91 [Extension of a DNR Reporting Date] extends by one year a DNR reporting date.

Section 92 [Additions to State Parks] adds additional land to the statutory boundaries of Frontenac State Park (Goodhue County), Minneopa State Park (Blue Earth County), and St. Croix State Park (Pine County).

Section 93 [Deletion from State Park] removes a portion of land from St. Croix Park (Pine County).

Section 94 [Additions to State Forests] adds additional land to Badoura State Forest (Hubbard County) and Snake River State Forest (Kanabec County).

Section 95 [Groundwater Appropriation Permit Enforcement] temporarily prohibits DNR from spending funds to enforce water appropriation permit terms that were added solely as a result of a court order issued in 2017.

Section 96 [Metro Groundwater Appropriation Activities] temporarily provides that public water suppliers in the metro area are not required to take certain measures related to groundwater appropriation.

Section 97 [Volkswagen Settlement Administration] prohibits the Pollution Control Agency from using more than 3% of Volkswagen settlement funds for administration and from hiring additional personnel to administer Volkswagen settlement funds.

Section 98 [Sewage Sludge Application Training Requirements] directs the Pollution Control Agency to amend its training requirements for those who apply sewage sludge and industrial byproducts to land so that 6 rather than 9 hours of annual training are required.

Section 99 [MS4 Stormwater Permit Modification] provides that when an MS4 stormwater permit is required for partially organized cities or townships, it is only required for the urbanized portion of the city or township.

Section 100 [Conforming Change] directs the director of the State Lottery to amend lottery rules so that they conform to changes made elsewhere in the bill.

Section 101 [Forest Inventory Recommendations] requires the Minnesota Forest Resources Council, in cooperation with the Interagency Information Cooperative and the University of Minnesota, to make recommendations for improving stand-level forest inventories.

Section 102 [Lake Winona Management] requires the PCA to take certain actions if the Alexandria Lake Area Sanitary District undertakes lake management activities designed to reduce phosphorous levels in Lake Winona and Lake Agnes.

Section 103 [Otter Tail County Muskellunge Stocking Moratorium] imposes a five-year moratorium on the stocking of muskellunge in waters wholly located in Otter Tail County. Requires DNR to convene a stakeholder group to examine the effects of muskellunge stocking in Otter Tail County.

Section 104 [Natural Resources Youth Safety Education Programs Delivery] requires DNR to review and research options for state-delivered online safety training programs for youth and adult students, including off-highway vehicles and hunter education.

Section 105 [Nonpoint Priority Funding Plan Workgroup] requires BWSR to convene a workgroup to review the biennial nonpoint priority funding plan.

Section 106 [Repealer] repeals a 2008 deletion of land from Jay Cooke State Park (Carlton County).

Article 3 – Accelerated Buffer Strip Implementation

Article 3 is a Drainage Work Group bill that is in response to a request by the Legislature in Laws 2017, chapter 93, article 1, section 4, paragraph (h), to evaluate and make recommendations to accelerate drainage system acquisition and establishment of ditch buffer strips.

Section 1 [Agriculture Best Management Practices Loan Program] amends the purposes of the agriculture best management practices (AgBMP) loan program to include all environmental service providers.

Section 2 [AgBMP Loan Program Definitions] modifies AgBMP loan program definitions to clearly allow eligibility for all environmental service providers that may include drainage authorities on behalf of the benefited landowners.

Section 3 [AgBMP Loans Issued to Borrowers] allows environmental service providers to request loans up to $200,000 multiplied by the number of landowners involved in the project.

Section 4 [Incremental Establishment of Vegetated Ditch Buffer Strips and Side Inlet Controls] clarifies that drainage authorities findings that the establishment of vegetated ditch buffer strips and side inlet controls is necessary to control erosion and sedimentation, improve water quality, or maintain efficiency is sufficient to confer jurisdiction by the drainage authority.

Section 5 [Drainage Authority Attorney] clarifies that a drainage authority may use an outside attorney, as provided for county boards under current law.

Section 6 [Conditions for Redetermination of Benefits and Damages] allows more than 26 percent of the owners of property or owners of 26 percent of the property benefited or damaged by a drainage system to petition for a redetermination of benefits and damages.  The drainage authority will retain their discretion in conducting the redetermination of benefits and damages.  Current law only allows for a petition by over 50 percent of the landowners to petition for corrections for errors made at the time of drainage system establishment.  Note that a petition for drainage system improvement requires greater than 26 percent.

Section 7 [Drainage Buffer Strip Planting without Acquisition and Compensation] allows a drainage authority to install buffer strips, with the consent of the landowner, along a drainage ditch without acquiring rights and compensating the landowner. This section sunsets on June 30, 2019.

Article 4 – Runoff and Sediment Delivery Option

Article 4 provides an option for drainage authorities to charge landowners for repair of a drainage system based on the landowner’s share of relative runoff and sediment delivery to the system.  This option could be used by a drainage authority to pay for repairs to the drainage system in lieu of assessments that are based on benefits.  In other words, the cost of a drainage system repair would be treated similar to a storm water utility.

Sections 1 and 2 [Definitions] define “relative runoff” and “relative sediment delivery” for the purpose of the runoff and sediment delivery option.

Sections 3 to 15 [Technical] provide for technical changes to the Drainage Law that are related to the use of the runoff and sediment delivery option.

Section 16 [Apportioning Repair Costs; Options] establishes that drainage authorities have the option of assessing based on benefits or charges using the runoff and sediment delivery option for the repair of a drainage system.

Section 17 [Runoff and Sediment Delivery] establishes the procedures and process for a drainage authority to apportion drainage system costs by relative runoff and relative sediment delivery.  The process starts by the drainage authority appointing one or more persons who are qualified in GIS systems to use digital information on the landscape and land uses in a model to prepare a cost apportionment report.  The drainage authority must hold a hearing on the cost apportionment report where affected landowners may testify on the report.  After the testimony, the drainage authority may modify the report.  Any person may appeal the cost apportionment report to district court.

Sections 18 to 22 [Technical] provide for technical changes to the Drainage Law that are related to the use of the runoff and sediment delivery option. 

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